March 26, 2007

Five Weeks and Still Counting

I find it hilarious that someone recently visited my blog after a keyword search for "smiley sticky baby dust." Unless they typed that in with a deep sense of sarcasm and a smidge of irony, they surely did not find what they were looking for. No doubt this search led them directly to my posts about the Annoying Pregnant Newbie (APN) who bugs me on the fertility boards, and to all your comments about how people who spew baby dust everywhere should choke on it and die.

Okay most of you were not that extreme, but the thing is, most of us in blogland are just in a different place than the newcomers on the boards. I have solidly arrived at stage five (Acceptance) according to Judi Corbett's Five Stages of Grieving the Loss of Infertility. Unfortunate as it is that we've had to continue to deal with infertility until it made us jaded and cynical, I am really glad I'm not in that perky, sparkly, baby-dusty place. Here's why.

In my buddy group, APN was the first to go through IVF, and as you all know she's pregnant (now 9 weeks). Another girl (we'll call her Bambi, because you know how they all have those fluffy adorable doe-eyed names), and I cycled next, at about the same time. We both got bfp's on the same day. So amazingly, our group was 3 for 3 on IVF #1. I really couldn't believe it because in blogland, virtually no one seems to get pregnant on #1. The first-hand accounts that introduced me to IVF were Julie's and Tertia's, so I was prepared for something like 5-10 tries over several years, with all sorts of horrible events in between.

So our luck in this group seemed way too good to be true and I felt sure it wouldn't last, but the other girls were saying things like: See, you just have to think positive and it will happen for you too! And now the bad news hits: Bambi's beta did not double. It is slightly lower than it was two days before, and very low for the number of days since retrieval. And her reaction: I can't believe this is happening to me! I am totally freaking out! What do you guys think, do I still have a chance?

I hope she does have a chance, but we cynical gals here in blogland know she probably doesn't. I feel really horrible for her. It is just absolutely gut wrenching to have such high hopes crushed like that. She was so excited. She made her pregnancy ticker on the very day of her first positive hpt and has been talking due dates and registry items and maternity shopping ever since. I want to be very clear that I'm not glad this happened so we can all learn our lesson or anything like that. I very much wish none of us had to go through any of this.

But it does make me appreciate my jaded and cynical position. If I get the news one of these days that my beta is shrinking, or there is no sac, or there is no heartbeat, or at whatever point the bad news comes, I will never say I can't believe this is happening to me. Infertility is something that has been happening to me for quite a long time now. I have no illusions that I will be totally protected from it hurting when and if I get bad news; one of the shitty things about infertility is that we often have to go through some form of the whole grieving process with each failed cycle. It's just that I don't think I have quite as far to fall anymore. In fact, every time I get good news, it takes me aback and I get the distinct feeling that I can't believe this is happening to me.

Today, the good news is that my beta is still increasing. It's now 2887 at 23dpER. The doubling rate has slowed a bit from 1.76 days to 2.20 days, but I'm not going to obsess over that, I know it is normal for it to slow as it increases. Today I am pregnant. Tomorrow I might not be. But I'm happy about today. Next appointment is the scan in one week.


Kate said...

Don't let your mind wander off. This is a good number. I can't wait for the u/s.

The second-to-last paragraph was so powerful. I loved it. You could not have said it better. I've struggled with this quite a bit--wondering how I could possibly be this lucky; fearing that I haven't paid my dues; waiting for bad news to hit because it is "just too good to be true." Part of me is frustrated that this naivete has been taken away from me. But another part of me is grateful because it helps me appreciate any good news that comes my way--however short-lived it may be.

Valerie said...

It sucks that we are so jaded that we expect bad things to happen. How I wish I could could be the bright eyed newbie with no idea that getting that BFP is only the first hurdle to a real live baby. But at the same time I was glad I knew what to expect from IVF #1 so I really wasn't very disappointed when it did not work. Infertility sucks! I am so happy your numbers are still going up

Anonymous said...

I personally stay clear of message boards because baby dust makes me violently ill. I cannot stand the stuff.

I am glad you beta is so great!

Lindsey said...

So glad to hear about the good beta.

I'm loving reading your post and guessing who's who, but I'm sorry for the girl who is having to learn such a painful lesson. I felt much like you about the BG. I felt like everyone was in such a different place than I was, and all that baby dust was suffocating.

I'm also nodding in agreement about our current standing. Everyday that I hear good news, I can hardly believe THIS is happening.

Hope this keeps on happening for another 9 months to come.

peep said...

This is such a process and it really changes us over time. I wonder if the effects last a lifetime. I like to think we are becoming like rocks (that is the image I have of you as I read your post) and will be that way for people who need us and can't handle life's shitty events. Rock on, you and your beta!

Bumble said...

Wonderful news on the beta Sarah! You're right, no use worrying over stuff that may never happen. Will take my own advice. Sorry about Bambi's bad news though. And down with baby dust, it gives me hayfever!!

Mands said...

Well I promise, no more baby dust from me. I used up my last bit yesterday, and have been promoted to Stage 7, according to Princess Smartypants.
On the other hand, very happy to see the numbers climbing steadily.

Mands said...

BTW: Thank you for responding to my request - now I can access your posts at the click of a mouse button!

K77 said...

Very pleased to hear that you're still pregnant.

I agree that being jaded can be useful, at least we're fully aware that bad things can and do happen. I've always felt it important to do what I consider the responsible thing and make sure I am fully informed about everything. Knowing about these things certainly doesn't MAKE them happen, and I agree that people such as APN can stick their babdust fair up their clacker.

I can't help that envision babydust being made from DBs.

Tam said...

Great news on that beta going up..

I've often wondered what I would feel when I actually get that BFP, I suppose we only really know when we get there, I think, like you...I would have a hard time believing it was true.

Can't stand message boards either, no amount of baby dust has ever worked for me!!

Artblog said...

Huge congrats :) You're right to be cynical, its a good backup in case something goes wrong again. I never did get that baby dust thingy!

I hope it carries on this way and the rest of your pregnancy is un-eventful. I'll drop by soon and see how you're doing :)

Reproductive Jeans said...

Enjoy today--that is a great feeling--and then hope for tomorrow and then the next day and deserve this--dont doubt that=) Just hold on tight and dont let go=)

megan said...

i'm new to fertility blogland, and completely bypassed the message boards on my way. i think the message boards are the very reason *why* it took me so long to find the very supportive, realistic bloggers that are out here. i couldn't handle the baby dust and baby dancing i saw on the boards and assumed that most blogs would likely be the same. it was such a relief to discover the opposite was true. that said, i *am* trying to be more positive this month....for a change of pace and for what it's worth. it's hard being cynical and jaded sometimes too, but it's also safer and more comfortable for me.
congrats on the beta. that's great news!

Susan said...

Yay, go beta go. Up up and away. Can't wait to keep getting good news from you!

Coffeegrl said...

Yay! I love this post for so many reasons. Thanks for sharing these thoughts :)

Nearlydawn said...

You go Sarah!!!

Loved reading your thoughts - I am so with you about the baby-dusted boards. I could roll all my perky moments together and still not be perky enough to hang with that level of self-created drama and perkiness!

Sorry to all of you that are or have been card-carrying board members, it just isn't for me.

Loved your post... I am living proof that being a little cynical can be good for you. I never really believed my preganacy was "good", due to the well-known "not-good" signs. As it turns out this knowledge kept me from falling over a cliff when it all went wrong. I did not have so far to fall as my non-IF-veteran friends...

I'm glad I have my eyes wide open.

carrie said...

First off, I'm so SO happy to read about your good news - I'm thrilled for you.

It's a hard line, trying to balance between being cynical/realistic, and being hopeful. We unfortunately know that life is not all babydust and smooth sailing, so we protect ourselves. But I hope that we can also strive to protect a little of our hope, too.

tipsymarie said...

I am sooo happy to hear you've reached the second big milestone: the first ultrasound has been scheduled.

OMG!!!11!!!! Baby dusts sprinkled you!!!!!!1111!! LOL!!
Love, annoying pregnant newbie

Sticky Bun said...

Great news about the beta! Things sound really positive. :-) Best of luck with the ultrasound!

And, I think you're probably right. While being more cynical and jaded has its downsides, we do approach this with a more realistic outlook.

Although, all of the "smiley sticky baby dust" made me ill long before I'd gotten quite so jaded. Now it's just worse. :-)